Our approach recognizes the importance of standardized tests while acknowledging that they reveal only a small part of the picture in determining overall student achievement.
We believe that children must be assessed and educated well beyond the traditional “core” intelligences of reading, writing and computing. Art, music, dance, physical education, social-emotional development and other disciplines all have an important place in our schools and in the development of our children. Extending our focus to these pursuits will help develop a lifelong passion for learning and will give students a well-rounded education.
The learning model of Citizens of the World Charter Schools is based on Constructivism, a theory in which knowledge is built (or constructed) on earlier knowledge. We structure learning to build on what students already know and support them in revising and refining their understanding as they work toward mastery.
The constructivist model is not easy to implement, but when done well has proven highly successful at several locations, including Larchmont, Larchmont West and CWC Hollywood. CWC also embraces parent and community input and can quickly incorporate it, operating nimbly and responsively.
Project-based learning integrates skills and knowledge through meaningful projects that make abstract learning concepts concrete. As reflective learners, children connect what they learn to their own lives. Teachers strive to teach for understanding, ensuring that students internalize deeply what they learn and are, in turn, able to apply what they learn to new and different circumstances and contexts.
The year begins with an assessment of each learner’s ability level, against which individual progress is regularly measured. This is coupled with high expectations for all students, enabling students at all levels to thrive.
CWC also works from Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences, which holds that intelligence is not a single, fixed measurement, but that there are several types of cognitive abilities and “intelligences,” including Spatial, Linguistic, Logical-mathematical, Bodily-kinesthetic, Musical, etc. CWC teachers recognize and work with each child’s intelligences and learning style.
Low Student-to-Teacher Ratios
In order to meet each child’s learning needs, CWC Silver Lake is embracing the autonomies granted to charters by making budgetary decisions surrounding our staffing structure to ensure a low student-to-teacher ratio. This allows for small-group instructional support from a teacher, while an assistant teacher may monitor independent work, lead partner games, or direct activities throughout the classroom.
Recognizing the value of the arts and their role in enhancing performance across subject areas, CWC Silver Lake/Echo Park will have art and music instruction multiple times a week by trained experts, as well as physical education.
Social Justice and Diversity
We intend to build a school that reflects the ethnic, racial, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity of Silver Lake and Echo Park. Citizens of the World believes that children who have had the lived experience of Difference (in learning ability, ethnicity, language and socioeconomic standing) will be better able to function effectively in the 21st century and will view their neighborhood, city and world in a more informed, skillful and empathetic light.